Apologies for the drop in the quality of the cheesy headlines of the last few days as I cannot wait for Killing Spree to come to my rescue, due to timezone constraints. Although, not too unhappy with today’s effort after a 17 hour flight. I even managed to find the tour on ITV4 so got to watch the last hour.
Suspect the report will be quite short today, the usual break goes, sprint teams control, break gets caught, sprint and Bosh! I read an interesting report about how the big teams control the front of the peloton to ensure the “right” break goes away, especially on a flat stage. They don’t want too many, maybe 4 or 5, cos they will run out of energy. Therefore that break should not consist of Tony Martin, Thomas de Ghent or Adam Hansen, to ensure catching them when they want to. It was interesting how vigorously the teams will actively block the road to stop anyone else getting across once they are happy with the composition of the break. I have been following the tour and cycling since the mid 70s, getting a 5 minute weekly recap of the Tour on Grandstand on a saturday, or reading Cycling Weekly. I have know that there has always been blocking tactics, but was interested to hear that Jim Ochowicz of CCC said he was surprised that blocking tactics went on? WTF Jim, how long have you been involved in cycling? Maybe that is why you haven’t won very much!
And so it was, what I said earlier, last KM and Bosh! The usual good lead out from Richeze from Quickstep, opens the door for Viviani, but Ewan started earlier and was already up to full pace. He blew past Sagan and Viviani to prove he is the form sprinter in this years tour, taking 2 stages, each one right after the rest days. If only there was a rest day before the final sprint into Paris, oh, and there wasn’t 3 monstrous days in the alps to possibly hamper the sprinters from actually getting there!
Richie benefited from another crash from Fuglsang to move into the top 10. Unusual it was not Richie crashing. G hit the deck, which is not that unusual, but didn’t look that bad.
Somehow Italian Chris has held on once again to retain top spot, but with 100 points separating the top 10 this is the closest finish the tipping comp has had I think. Giant Scott holds on to 2nd place, with newcomer Scomonabike slipping into the top 3. No real big mover into the top 20 today with a lot of single digit movers, with Sicknote 4 the best of them, up a measly 6 places. In fact there were not a lot of really big movers in the comp, with the biggest being JCB Digger up 49 places. Puffy is off the bottom, only to be replaced by ESCC compatriot Pedro Bartoli, ensuring they get 3 mentions once again.